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A blog for therapists, counselors, psychologists and social workers. Specializing in domestic violence treatment.

DSM Finally Acknowledges Matters of the Heart

Most therapists are pretty unhappy with the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. We don’t like to be pigeonholed into pathologizing our clients with disorders that meet DSM criteria for insurance purposes. We also find that the DSM omits huge problems such as sexual addiction and the use of pornography while including arcane and […]

The goal in batterer intervention: Stop both physical and emotional abuse

When I first starting running groups for batterers I believed my goal was to help them stop physically-abusive behavior, and I used group discussion and domestic violence worksheets to challenge them to recognize the damage they had done. I told the men in my groups that our goal was to stop and always avoid any […]

Goals for batterer intervention: Stop abusive behavior not just for partners but also for the men themselves

When you facilitate batterer intervention groups, you focus on the damage it does to women. You use group discussion and domestic violence worksheets to help men understand that domestic abuse results in painful physical injuries and emotional scars that include depression, anxiety, fear of men in general, and lowered self-esteem. You explain to abusive men […]

The EX factors of facilitating effective groups of batterers and substance abusers

Success with court-referred clients Facilitating groups for court-referred clients can be hard work: The truth is, of course, that they are criminals, an indication that they may have lousy attitudes and rebel against authority — not qualities that make them stellar group members. But running groups can be enjoyable and rewarding. Many clients get with […]

Batterer Intervention Alliance

The Intervention Alliance Although increasingly varied in their approach to working with abusive men, batterer intervention services (BIS) adhere to best practice that emphasizes (1) safety for women (2) accountability for abusive behavior and (3) the exclusion of protocols that might lead group facilitators to collude with batterers. BIS facilitators use instruction, worksheets, and self-report […]

Why Worksheets for Men’s Domestic Abuse Groups Work

When you use client worksheets in domestic abuse treatment groups with court-referred clients, you provide opportunities for increased focus on topics, more interchange between the facilitator and group members, and individual as well as group exploration of thinking and behavior. Harm and Consequences of Domestic Violence In batterer intervention groups, your most important and most […]

Worksheets for Abusive Men’s Groups

Worksheets improve your interventions and make your counseling easier. The question of structure vs. spontaneity in running groups is one of the most common issues that therapists face. On the one hand, we want to give batterers opportunities to talk because we know they learn best from one another. On the other hand, time is […]

A Brief History of Batterer Intervention

Domestic violence is probably as old as the human race. For much of human history, male violence against their partners was not only tolerated but sometimes even encouraged. In the 1960s and 70s the women’s movement focused attention on the lack of resources available to battered women. They also identified the lack of sanctions against […]

Learning the Lessons of Domestic Violence Treatment for Men

Things had changed quickly at the community mental health agency where I worked, and I suddenly found myself counseling fewer self-referred clients and spending more time as a treatment provider for men who’d been convicted of domestic violence. I’d worked with men who’d been arrested for domestic violence on an individual basis here and there. […]